Montgomery, AL – A new teachers' union study shows that an election year pay raise gave Alabama teachers the nation's third largest salary hike. The study by the American Federation of Teachers says the increase was not typical of teachers' raises in Alabama because 2002 was a gubernatorial election year, and lawmakers gave educators a three percent cost-of-living adjustment raise. The study also says wages have leveled off since then. Alabama was Number 33 in the nation with an average teacher salary of almost 40 thousand dollars dollars in the 2002-2003 school year. That was about a six percent increase from the previous year, when teachers in the state made an average of just more than 37-thousand dollars. The study shows only New Jersey and Massachusetts increased their teachers' salaries by a greater percentage between those school years.